We ended 2018 with an extraordinary rescue. Meet Italo! Italo was rescued on Christmas day from a dairy farm in Washington. He would have been killed within hours of birth (because he is of no “use” as a male) if someone did not intervene and save his life. Italo is a precious reminder of how awful and cruel the dairy industry is.


21 million. That is the number of dairy calves killed EVERY YEAR in the dairy industry. Italo would have been just one life lost in the vast and incomprehensible cycle of misery and death that is dairy. Male calves are either shot, tossed in a bin like garbage, or sent to be veal where they will spend the rest of their short lives in a tiny pen – alone and heartbroken – until they are killed for their flesh.


Female dairy cows are artificially inseminated at a very young age against their will and after carrying a baby for nine months her calf is taken away and she is put on a production line where farmers steal the milk meant for her baby. The instant bond between mother and child will be broken again and again and again. Mother cows are known to bellow with a deep and anguishing grief after their baby is taken away. This heartbreak will never go away. And once the mother cow can no longer produce milk, after a lifetime of loss and despair, she too will be callously killed for a hamburger.


Although the dairy industry is fond of telling consumers that cows don’t care about having their babies taken away from them – we know that to be unequivocally untrue.


Betsy and Oliver


Two years ago, we rescued Betsy, a pregnant dairy cow, from a local dairy. When she gave birth, Betsy was anxious and territorial. Even though she knew us to be kind, she was still frightened that we would take away her baby. Her bond with her baby boy, Oliver, was immediate. Even now, two years later, they are never far from each other’s side. They are a family.


Unfortunately, Italo will never have the opportunity to know his birth mother. That is something that the dairy industry took from him the day he was born. He will not know the warmth of her embrace when he is frightened or feel the comfort of her touch. But even so, he is one of the lucky ones because he is free. We will do our best to make sure that Italo has a beautiful and long life. He will have a big beautiful family full of people who love him, friendships, adventure, quality care and the ability to make his own decisions.


Please consider Italo when you make your food choices. There are so many kind alternatives to dairy – like soy, almond and oat milk that are better for you, the planet, and the animals. Feel free to reach out to us at info@lighthousefarmsanctuary.org if you need advice on switching to a plant-based diet.


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